“Money is the opposite of the weather. Nobody talks about it, but everybody does something about it.” – Rebecca Johnson
The Budget: Let’s hope that Congress is doing a lot of talking about the weather AND budget! As the February 18th
deadline for the temporary spending bill (“continuing resolution”) is set to expire, the appropriators have introduced another short-term government funding bill (text
) that will extend negotiations for the FY22 budget until March 11, 2022. Although these negotiations have been ongoing since October 2021, they are reportedly “very close to agreement.” It is important to note that this time of year is when discussions begin for budget; so once agreement is reached on FY22, discussions will begin on FY23.
Build Back Better Update: Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) announced that his committee is in the process of crafting an updated reconciliation package, which may include policies on drug pricing, clean energy tax incentives, and Marketplace subsidies to close the Medicaid coverage gap.
New Legislation from HELP committee: Last week, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee released draft bipartisan pandemic preparedness legislation. The PREVENT Act
works to create a stronger public health and medical preparedness and response system. Some key components include improving the strategy and coordination among our public health preparedness agencies; strengthening supply chain and government stockpiles of medical products, such as masks, drugs, vaccines, and tests; responding to disparities that make public health emergencies harder on at-risk populations and communities; improving public health communication and addressing misinformation; and other public health emergency preparedness concerns.